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Donors needed as Minnesota faces blood supply shortage

Monday, June 14, is World Blood Donor Day. And locally, those donors are needed urgently.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The hand of a blood donor squeezing a medical rubber ball

ST PAUL, Minn. — Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) is calling on the public to donate blood in Minnesota as the supply dwindles.

In a news release on Monday, World Blood Donor Day, MBC urged people who haven't donated since the pandemic to "return to donating blood." Minnesota is down to a three-day supply, which MBC says it not enough to meet local hospital needs.

“There’s a nationwide shortage,” MBC Senior Executive Director Kathy Geist said in a statement. “We currently have only a 3-day supply of blood to offer to more than 30 local hospitals. The long-term impact of the pandemic has meant we’ve had a year of virtually no high school or college first-time donors, and 41% fewer donors between the ages of 17-24.”

That has meant a significant drop in blood donations over the last 15 months. On top of that, there's been a surge in demand as hospitals begin to perform surgeries that were delayed due to the pandemic.

MBC is inviting all eligible donors to give blood, which they say takes about an hour. As an incentive, all donors during the month of June will be entered into daily drawings for Minnesota Twins tickets.

The blood center is taking COVID-19 precautions, including face masks. Anyone interested in giving blood can go online at MBC.org or call 1-888-448-3253.

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